Do you still think that “brand” refers only to the type of breakfast cereal your children prefer? If so, you need to read our primer on brand development, how it differs from marketing, and why it’s such an important component of your success.
What Is Branding, Exactly?
It’s not just a memorable logo, a catchy jingle for radio advertisements, or a slogan. It’s also your reputation — both online and in the real world — your advertising, and how people perceive your customer service. Of course, it also involves your products or services, but in many ways, those are secondary.
Branding Vs. Marketing — What’s the Difference?
The simplest explanation: your brand is your company’s personality. Your marketing efforts aim to show that personality to the wider world.
And those “others” aren’t limited to customers, either. Branding also helps define and reinforce internal company culture. This will attract top talent when it comes to prospective employees, and will help current workers embrace your values and mission.
Questions to Inspire Your Brand Development
As you are considering your business’s brand, and how to couple it with your marketing efforts, you may want to think about the following:
- What makes us unique?
- What is our communication style?
- What are our core values and our mission?
- Who is our target audience, and what’s the best way to communicate with them?
- How would we want people (both employees and customers) to describe our business?
This last question may offer especially valuable insights into brand development.
Do you want to be thought of as a “cool” company? Reliable? Friendly? Trendy? Innovative? Traditional? One that offers a good value? One that has a great social media presence? Of course, it may be a combination of these qualities and others.
Maybe you’re the fourth-gen owner of a hardware store that opened in 1941. An upscale restaurant that relies exclusively on locally sourced ingredients. A barber shop that caters to hipsters, with a fridge full of PBRs and an irreverent attitude. An independently owned pet store that donates 5% of all profits to the ASPCA.
These businesses have different target audiences and values and therefore need different brand development approaches.
What Goes Into a Good Brand?
All the elements of effective branding have one thing in common: they make an indelible impression.
- A simple, recognizable logo
- A slogan or motto that’s short and catchy
- Design elements (color scheme, typography, use of white space) are consistent across all channels, including advertising materials, signage, and packaging
- A social media presence that accurately reflects the business’s personality
- A website that is easy to navigate and that provides valuable information
- A distinctive “voice” and/or communication style
The Payoff of Building a Brand Persona
If you are successful at establishing your company’s brand, you will reap rewards. Your employees will be inspired, your current customers satisfied, and potential customers intrigued. Your business will become more recognizable.
Your advertising and marketing dollars will go further, since your efforts in those areas will pay greater dividends after being boosted by brand development.
Of course, branding isn’t always an easy proposition. Some of the most important aspects of it — online reputation management, SEO, and local marketing — are also the most difficult for small business to handle on their own.
If you need help with those crucial tasks, contact the experts at RebelFish Local to help get your brand development and marketing efforts off the ground.